Mags Look To Facebook To Hawk Print Subscriptions

There have a been a number of platforms introduced in recent years to use the web to sell magazine subscriptions. But so far, one of the most high profile efforts, Time (NYSE: TWX) Inc.’s Maghound, hasn’t made much headway. This summer, Synapse Group, another Time Inc. unit that provides marketing programs for publishers, will apply its subscription sales efforts in a more targeted way. Specifically, Synapse, and e-commerce partner Alvenda, will try to sell magazine subscriptions to Facebook users who post links to articles from the titles it works with. And Facebook won’t share in any of the revenues, the companies say.

The subscription tool is expected to be up and running by July or August. Perhaps wary of disturbing Facebook and its users too much, the Synapse system will operate within Facebook’s walls and will not take members away from their news feed.

The idea was inspired by conversations with the Magazine Publishers of America, which is also supportive of other efforts. The most notable is the multi-publisher digital storefront initiative Next Issue Media, as the industry tries to switch from a defensive crouch to a more offensive approach to driving digital revenues.